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11-18-2004

Clarkson Professor Introduces Young Readers To The Poetry Of Wallace Stevens In New Book

Clarkson University Professor of Humanities John N. Serio introduces young readers to the life and poetry of Wallace Stevens, considered one of America's greatest and most influential poets, in a brand new illustrated book.

The book, Wallace Stevens, was published this fall as part of the Poetry for Young People series from Sterling Publishing Company. The book includes a short biography of the poet written by Serio and 25 of Stevens' best-loved poems selected and annotated by Serio. The poems are accompanied by watercolor illustrations by Robert Gantt Steele that capture the essence and imagery of Stevens' words.

Stevens did not write poems for children but he is such a major poet that he deserves to be presented to young readers, and perhaps their parents too, explained Serio, who is editor of The Wallace Stevens Journal, a distinguished scholarly journal published by the Wallace Stevens Society and housed at Clarkson. "I selected poems with strong images and lyrical rhythms that would be the most accessible to young readers. The themes of certain poems, such as "The Rabbit As King of the Ghosts," speak to the inner self and that is important to children. They enhance a young person's sense of individuality and self-confidence."

Other titles in Sterling's highly acclaimed Poetry for Young People series include Emily Dickinson, Carl Sandberg, Robert Lewis Stevenson, Robert Frost, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Walt Whitman.

Serio has been on the faculty of Clarkson since 1974. Prior to coming to Clarkson, he taught at Valparaiso University and the University of Notre Dame. He received his bachelor's degree from SUNY College at Buffalo, his master's degree from Northwestern University, and his doctoral degree from Notre Dame.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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